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Questions mount over sand at lake

Questions mount over sand at lake

120914_01

Children play on a pipe that is pumping sand into Boeung Tumpun lake in Phnom Penh yesterday. The lake has been slated for development. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Sand being carted in by the truckload and the presence of other heavy machinery at Boeung Tumpun lake this week has raised questions about how much development is set to take place at the site.

Houses close to the lake have sand piling up metres from their doors and part of the lake appears to be in the process of being filled in.

The Boeung Tumpun area, in Meanchey district, borders Boeung Choueng Ek lake and covers about 2,600 hectares of land. More than 700 families are believed to live at the site.

The area has been earmarked for development, but Phnom Penh Municipal Authority is believed to still own the lake itself.

Phnom Penh governor Kep Chuktema said in July last year that the government had similar plans for Boeung Tumpun as it had for Boeung Kak lake.

“In Phnom Penh, there are a number of lakes, particularly the giant lake, Boeung Tumpun. We will have to develop Boeung Tumpun,” Chuktema said at the time.

District governor Kouch Chamroeun said yesterday that sand was being dumped only on private land at Boeung Tumpun.

“This particular land belongs to a private owner who began to fill it up with sand,” he said.

“I do not know what the owner plans to do on the land.”

Long Dimanche, a spokesman for Phnom Penh City Hall, said he was not in a position to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Cheang Sokha at [email protected]
Shane Worrell at [email protected]

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